SLDN Calls for Friday Senate DADT Repeal Rally

Posted by Chris Geidner
December 7, 2010 11:46 AM |

A strong -- and lengthy -- statement from Servicemembers Legal Defense Network executive director Aubrey Sarvis this morning, calling on the Senate to stay in session until "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is repealed -- an idea supported by Senators Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.).

Sarvis said in the statement, "With increased pressure - a raised voice - and help from our allies at this key moment, I believe the Senate will stay in session. We will hit 60 votes." The organization, as part of that raised voice, is calling for a pro-repeal rally "outside the Senate this Friday."

From the release:

  • WHAT: MISSION INCOMPLETE: NO SENATE VACATION UNTIL THE TASK IS FINISHED
  • WHO: Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and anyone else who supports repeal
  • WHERE: Constitution Ave. and Delaware Ave., NE, Upper Senate Park, North of U.S. Capitol
  • WHEN: Friday, December 10, 2010, noon ET

Sarvis:

"We call upon the Senate and the President to remain in session and in Washington until the National Defense Authorization Act is passed – which includes the repeal of 'Don’t Ask.'  The Senate is scheduled to break for holiday vacation; we can’t let them leave. We must show our rage for repeal and insist the Senate stay in Washington until they have finished the job. We implore all who support repeal to join us outside the Senate this Friday. As Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said, 'If not now, when?'

The full statement is below the jump.

Meanwhile, Igor Volsky at the Wonk Room reports that West Virginia's new senator, Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.V.) "is now hinting that he would vote against lifting the ban in the lame duck session."

SLDN's Sarvis:

"We call upon the Senate and the President to remain in session and in Washington until the National Defense Authorization Act is passed – which includes the repeal of 'Don’t Ask.'  The Senate is scheduled to break for holiday vacation; we can’t let them leave. We must show our rage for repeal and insist the Senate stay in Washington until they have finished the job. We implore all who support repeal to join us outside the Senate this Friday. As Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said, 'If not now, when?'

"The lame-duck vote on repeal was set up and dictated by some of the same Senators – like John McCain and Mitch McConnell -- who are now delaying to kill the bill. They wanted the Pentagon report – now they have it.  They wanted hearings – now they’re done. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he is determined to pass the defense bill with repeal.  Senators must not be allowed to hide any longer behind process, procedure, and tax cuts for the wealthy, while the discrimination continues. We've lost 14,000 troops to this antiquated law, and by God, we must not lose another on our watch.

More Americans than ever are with us in this moment.  We have the Commander in Chief, the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a majority of the service chiefs who support repeal.  We know that 92 percent of service members are just fine working with their gay, lesbian and bisexual colleagues, according to the Pentagon report. Their attitudes mirror those of nearly 80 percent of Americans.

With increased pressure - a raised voice - and help from our allies at this key moment, I believe the Senate will stay in session. We will hit 60 votes. We will fight back on attempts to kill repeal.  We will send the bill to the President's desk. The discharges will end. And gays and lesbians will keep serving this nation - but this time with the integrity they so deserve."


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